Merck KGaA's $17-billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich receives last of required antitrust approvals

Brazil's Council for Economic Defense (CADE) cleared Merck KGaA's planned $17-billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, the companies announced Tuesday. Merck said the CADE decision means that "approvals have been secured from all relevant jurisdictions" in regards to the merger.

The unconditional clearance follows recently received antitrust approvals from the competition authorities of Israel, South Korea, and the US. In June, the EU granted conditional approval contingent on certain commitments, which included the companies agreeing to divest parts of Sigma-Aldrich's solvents and inorganics business in Europe, including its manufacturing assets in Seelze, Germany, where it produces most of the solvents and inorganics that it sells in the region.

Bernd Reckmann, member of Merck's executive board, remarked that "we are now working with all related parties on the divestments, as agreed with the European Commission, in order to swiftly complete the transaction."

Sigma-Aldrich, whose shareholders approved the merger last December, noted that the companies continue to work toward completing the transaction in the third quarter.

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